Six figure boost for New Forest inclusive cycling scheme

Inclusive cycling 2015 beaulieu heath

Published Wednesday 14 June 2017

Hundreds of young people will be able to enjoy the New Forest using specialist bikes thanks to £300,000 of National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund.

The PEDALL – Happy, Healthy, Active project, supported by the New Forest National Park Authority, will provide opportunities for people with disabilities to enjoy the health benefits of cycling in the National Park.

The project will help tackle the lack of exercise and associated health problems among young people with disabilities. This can include poor physical fitness, poor mental wellbeing and social isolation, which all contribute to a reduced quality of life.

This grant allows the PEDALL project to expand its work helping young people transform their lives through outdoor exercise. Since the scheme was set up in 2011 by the National Park Authority, more than 100 families have attended sessions across the Forest.

Over the next three years, the grant will allow the team to run an expanded range of sessions for young people with disabilities and families using a fleet of specially adapted bicycles.

This includes six-week cycling courses for students at mainstream and special needs schools, and free regular drop in sessions at weekends open to families and adults with disabilities.

Heidi O’Neil, whose sister Amy Galpin has taken part in inclusive cycling sessions, said: ‘The PEDALL project offers Amy a huge amount of support and encouragement with her cycling.  I have to say she enjoys these sessions immensely and the feedback from our carers is that the team are fantastic. Amy and I both really appreciate it the difference this scheme makes.’

New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, said: ‘This grant will be transformative for hundreds of people in the New Forest and surrounding areas. It will help those who are usually unable to experience the Forest to discover the health and wellbeing benefits of time spent in this special area.

‘We are grateful to the Big Lottery for its support and I look forward to seeing the difference this will make to people’s lives in the coming years.’

James Harcourt, England Grant Making Director, Big Lottery Fund said: ‘We are proud to celebrate projects that make a difference to people and the communities they live in. It is great to think that National Lottery players have now raised £36 billion for Good Causes and it’s when you hear about projects like these that you realise the incredible impact that funding has had across England. Whether the grant is for £500, or £5 million, our funding is used to run amazing projects led by local people. It really is life changing.’

The PEDALL – Happy, Healthy, Active project is a partnership between the New Forest National Park Authority, Southlands School, Oaklodge School, Hythe and SCARF (Supporting Special Children and their Relatives and Friends).

The partnership is currently advertising two paid roles to run the project, full details and application form at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/jobs.

For general information or to register for a session visit www.pedall.org.uk

Notes to photo editor

Inclusive cycling session at Beaulieu Heath

Notes to editor:

Big Lottery Fund

  • The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. We put people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.
  • We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year we awarded £583 million and supported around 12,000 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect.
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media contact

Matt Stroud, Communications Officer
Tel: 01590 646650
Email: matt.stroud@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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